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Chinese naval escort taskforce commander meets with NATO counterpart

By  Hou Rui and Cheng Bijie (China Military Online)

08:03, August 22, 2012

Rear Admiral Zhou Xuming, commander of the 12th Chinese naval escort taskforce under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and his party totaling six persons boarded the "Rotterdam" dock landing ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy and held a cordial meeting and exchanged views with Commodore Ben Bekkerin, commander of the NATO Task Force 508 on the morning of August 19, 2012, local time. The two sides held a friendly discussion and reached a consensus on in-depth exchanges and cooperation between the two naval escort taskforces in the waters of the Gulf of Aden in the future.

Commodore Ben Bekkerin congratulated the 12th Chinese naval escort taskforce on its escort achievements since it arrived in the waters of the Gulf of Aden on behalf of the NATO Task Force 508. Rear Admiral Zhou Xuming spoke highly of the important role that the NATO Task Force 508 has played in maintaining the peace and tranquility of the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast and fully affirmed the good open relations of mutual trust and cooperation that have been maintained by the two escort taskforces all the time.

Afterwards, the two sides exchanged their views on the escort areas, escort operation modes and recent intelligence information, and analyzed the situations and characteristics of the current pirate activities in the waters off the Somali coast.

Both sides agreed that the sea conditions in the waters off the Somali coast will turn for the better and the piracies will reach a new peak. Both sides hoped to further maintain good communication and cooperation in the future anti-piracy operations.

After the meeting, the Chinese naval officers and men also visited the combat operation center and pilot room of the "Rotterdam" dock landing ship.

It is learnt that this is the 5th meeting between the commanders of the Chinese naval escort taskforce and the NATO Task Force 508.

The 12th Chinese naval escort taskforce has accomplished 11 escort missions for 38 Chinese and foreign ships, and successfully met and escorted 26 Chinese and foreign seamen on the "Xu Fu 1" fishing vessel since it arrived in the Gulf of Aden.

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